After I had published yesterday's blog post I noticed that it was my 399th submission. This came as a massive surprise to me as I did not think I had written that many entries. So, on this, my 400th post, I thought I would take a brief look back over my past few years' worth of entries and see where I have gone from and where things have led to.
The blog began life primarily as a catalogue to detail the painting of my old-school fantasy figures and my newly purchased Early Imperial Roman army. This soon diversified to include the many other types of mini that were in my lead and plastic piles. Unfortunately there was no real order to the chaos, so my collection just got painted with no real project in mind, except to begin with to get a few Hordes of the Things armies created and to test and hopefully improve my painting skills. The HotT armies were created but they were never played with - interest in the system died before I completed the painting unfortunately. If I could go back and do things differently I would have painted all of my fantasy minis to fit within a theme. There were a few minor themes involved but no coherent whole. This was an opportunity missed. However, I really could not face going back and repainting/basing all those minis. So, going forward, I will hopefully be doing things with more of a theme in mind in the future.
As time went on, I started to add write-ups of returns and various artwork from a play-by-email game run by my long-time gaming friend Colin. A few more games were also added in this way, including one of my own, but I decided a short way through to create a new website to house that and thus keep it separate from my painting stuff. Unfortunately, I did not keep up the posting after it finished and, as it was a freely hosted site, the server/site owners deleted it to recapture the space. Ho hum, another harsh lesson learned.
At around the time I began writing up the pbm stuff, my son Alex wanted to get in on the action and offered his figures up for the blog. He was much more interested in the Warhammer worlds, so his input was mainly Bretonnians and Space Marines, but this eventually began to broaden to encompass Lord of the Rings and a variety of other stuff that took his fancy. My daughters also showed an intial interest but this soon waned after just a few figures painted. The last couple of years has also seen Alex's interest wane a little, but he is still interested and wants to start painting again this year.
After a large proportion of my old fantasy minis and Roman army had been completed, the theme of the blog over the last year or two turned to write-ups and details about the AD&D adventures set within my own campaign world of Doggerland. This was regularly updated and I really enjoyed playing and preparing the adventure each week, but this took over from the painting almost completely.
It is funny how interests change, even within the niche hobby of gaming. I continually looked at my unpainted mini stash whilst preparing for RPG sessions and rued the fact I had very little spare time to put paint on the brush. I certainly wanted to keep up all aspects of my hobby but time was certainly against me what with the regular RPG session to prepare for each week, a long working day, and a young family to keep occupied.
Now that my personal situation has changed, I have had a chance to rethink a few things. Some of my new-found spare time has allowed me to begin re-reading my huge collection of 2000AD backdates, and I have got through a fair few new (to me) fantasy novels, DVDs on a fantasy theme, and a quick scan through some rule books I have bought in the past couple of years but not got round to reading. All of these things have begun to fire off new and exciting ideas in my imagination and I am hoping it will lead to more themed ideas for specific gaming ideas.
These themed ideas, I am hoping, will lead to me getting more painting done. I will most likely start off with my humungous GW Lord of the Rings collection that has been collected as cheaply as possible (courtesy of de Agostini's Battle Games in Middle Earth and eBay) over the last several years. I have painted quite a few Rohan and some Easterlings so far, but will look to create a selection of armies for future gaming. I am looking for themes for these and will try to make the whole collection one cohesive whole.
Game rules sets wise I was thinking of progressing from smaller to gradually larger games: Battle Companies (9 or 10 figures per side) > Strategy Battle Game (30-40 per side) > LotR Saga (50-70 per faction) > Dux Britanniarum and then see from there. This will all progress alongside my preparation for the next part of the Doggerland saga, which may be either another RPG or a pbm game.
Lots to do and get on with just as soon as my youngest gets over his chicken pox and no longer needs constant attention!